Highlights from MAG’s Board of Directors meeting

Tuesday September 8, 2020

- By sysadmin

The Medical Association of Georgia’s (MAG) Board of Directors (BOD) addressed a number of important issues during its meeting in Atlanta on May 4. The BOD… – Sent three resolutions to the American Medical Association (AMA) to 1) urge Medicare to cover some or all of the costs associated with hearing aids and 2) create a national education and advocacy campaign on distracted driving in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and other interested stakeholders, and to explore the development of an advertising campaign and 3) to adopt the concept of “cap-flexibility” for graduate medical education (GME), which would allow current GME teaching institutions to extend their cap-building window for up to an additional five years. In addition, it also asks that AMA advocate for funding to begin prior to the arrival of any residents. – Voted to reaffirm two policies…

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Don’t forget to register & get room for MAG’s GR seminar

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The Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) is reminding members to register and reserve a room for MAG’s 2019 ‘Legislative Education Seminar’ meeting, which will take place at the Brasstown Valley Resort & Spa in Young Harris on May 31-June 2. Call 800.201.3205 and mention the “MAG Legislative Education Seminar” or click here to receive a discounted room rate of $199 per night plus taxes and fees. The discount will be available through May 10 or until MAG’s block of rooms sells out. The seminar costs $100 per person, which includes a breakfast, a lunch, and two dinners. Click here to register for the seminar and to select your meal choice for the plated dinner that will take place on Friday, May 31 – keeping in mind that the dinner on Saturday, June 1 will be a buffet. Contact Derek Norton at dnorton@mag.org or 678.303.9280 with any…

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MAG & AMA file amicus brief with Georgia Supreme Court    

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The Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) joined an amicus brief that was recently filed by the American Medical Association with the Supreme Court of Georgia in the case of Shawn G. Evans, et al. v. Rockdale Hospital, LLC. “The question here is whether a damages-only trial is sufficient when liability and damages are inextricably intertwined,” says MAG General Counsel Bethany Sherrer. In this case… – The patient presented to the ER after more than 40 hours of experiencing a headache and episodes of vomiting and diarrhea. – The patient was discharged with instructions for follow-up care, but her symptoms worsened. – The patient was rushed to the ER and diagnosed with an intracranial hemorrhage and significant brain damage six days after her discharge. “The jury placed the hospital’s fault at 51 percent, while it placed the patient’s fault at 49 percent,”…

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New ‘Top Docs Radio’ shows address HIV/AIDS, disparities in cancer care & advance directives/POLST/end-of-life care

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The latest episodes of the Medical Association of Georgia’s (MAG) ‘Top Docs Radio’ show address 1) the increase HIV infection cases in Georgia and other southeastern U.S. states and 2) disparities in cancer care and 3) advance directives and other important end-of-life issues. The first episode features Danny Branstetter, M.D. – the medical director of infection prevention for Kennestone Medical Center and the WellStar Health System – and Scott Cutro, M.D., an infectious disease specialist with Kaiser Permanente of Georgia. They address… – The difference between HIV and AIDS – How HIV can be transmitted and high-risk groups – HIV infection rates in Georgia – and why there’s been an increase – How HIV/AIDS care has changed in the last 20 years – Whether the outlook for HIV/AIDS patients has improved – Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) and other ways to prevent…

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MAG now accepting 2019 awards nominations

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The Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) is encouraging component county medical society (CMS) and specialty society leaders and MAG members in the state to honor the individuals and/or organizations they believe deserve to be recognized for their contributions to the medical profession by nominating them for a MAG award in 2019. To honor the recipients to the greatest extent possible, the winners will receive their awards before the entire House of Delegates during one of its sessions at the Evergreen Marriott Resort in Stone Mountain on October 19-20. The MAG awards include… – The Lamartine Hardman Cup, which is presented to a physician who has solved any outstanding problem in public health or made any discovery in surgery or medicine or such contribution to the science of medicine – including but not limited to excellence in the field of medical education. Nominations must…

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MAG Foundation applauds GPLA grads & new class

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A diverse mix of physicians from across the state graduated from the 11th class of the Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) Foundation’s Georgia Physicians Leadership Academy (GPLA) in a ceremony that took place in Atlanta on May 4. “The GPLA was established to develop physician leaders and improve health care delivery for their patients, communities, and the medical profession,” says GPLA Steering Committee Chair John Sy, D.O. “The year-long curriculum includes classes that address leadership development, conflict resolution, media relations, and advocacy – and participants must design and complete a leadership project.” This year’s GPLA graduates include Travis Bailey, D.O., an anesthesiologist in Valdosta; Shamie Das, M.D., an emergency medicine physician in Decatur; Rod Duraski, M.D., an internist in LaGrange; Salman Fidahussein, M.D., a pulmonary disease specialist in LaGrange; Donald Fordham, M.D., a family medicine physician in Cornelia; Tracey Henry, M.D., an internist…

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The Georgia Professionals Health Program

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The Medical Association of Georgia is reminding physicians in the state about the availability of the Georgia Professionals Health Program (Georgia PHP). The Georgia PHP supports health care professionals who are licensed by the Georgia Composite Medical Board – including physicians, physician assistants and respiratory therapists – with professional health program (PHP) services when they “develop a potentially impairing condition or disease.” The Georgia PHP’s mission is to “help Georgia’s health care providers remain healthy to improve the health of all citizens of our state.” The Georgia PHP’s primary areas of expertise are substance abuse and other addictive disorders, although it also deals with other psychological and psychiatric conditions. The Georgia PHP provides the “initial triage and referral into evaluation or treatment, treatment quality monitoring, and long-term care for addiction disorders and related problems.” Most of the Georgia PHP’s services…

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Understanding drug costs and the role of PBMs

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By Kai Wang, M.D. History of pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) In 1968, the Pharmaceutical Card System (PCS) was created to help health insurance companies process prescription drug claims. Initially, prescription drug claims were adjudicated by paper and then electronically in the 1980s. The passage of the Medicare Modernization Act in 2003 allowed Medicare to pay for prescription drugs via Medicare Part D programs. PBMs were tasked with implementing this new federal program by identifying eligible patients, overseeing drug benefit administration, and establishing drug prices. Three PBMs – CVS Caremark, Express Scripts, and Optimum Rx – now control more than 85 percent of the market. Why do we need formularies? A formulary is the list of generic and brand medications that are approved to be prescribed at a specific hospital or health care system or that is covered under a particular health…

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MAG members & staff can get free claims/payer advice

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Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) members and their practice staff who would like advice on the best ways to resolve claims and other third-party payer problems can contact Mark Kishel, M.D., at mkishel@mag.org. This is a free and exclusive benefit for MAG members and their practice staff. Dr. Kishel served in key roles at Anthem/Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia, and he worked in a variety of group practice, hospital and insurance settings.

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MAG reminding members to promote Georgia Drug Card

- By sysadmin

The Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) is reminding its members that any patient who has a high-deductible health insurance plan or who doesn’t have prescription drug coverage or who takes prescription drugs that aren’t covered by their health insurance plan can use the Georgia Drug Card to obtain savings of up to 75 percent off the retail price for brand and generic FDA-approved medications at most retail pharmacies – including every major pharmacy chain. The Georgia Drug Card is completely confidential, there are no membership restrictions or income requirements or age limitations, and there are no applications to complete. The Georgia Drug Card is funded by pharmacy companies. Georgians can get the Georgia Drug Card for free by… 1. Printing a card at www.GeorgiaDrugCard.com or 2. Using the Georgia Drug Card app, which is available in the Apple or Google Play stores…

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